AN ISLANDER who watched coastguard crews and the Southampton Harbour Master boat rescue a sailor off Egypt Point yesterday evening (Friday) has told the Isle of Wight County Press the alarm was raised by people on Prince's Esplanade, which connects Cowes and Gurnard.

Read more: Mayday call after boat gets swamped by waves off Gurnard

HM Coastguard received a mayday call  about the newly-acquired sailing boat called 'Solitaire', with one person on board, at 5:20pm. 

It had anchored, in an attempt to avoid being swept on to the rocks off Egypt Point.

HM Coastguard says the boat's engine was not strong enough to battle blustery conditions off Gurnard Ledge.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Image: Craig Dymock

The Southampton Harbour patrol vessel was escorting the cruise liner Queen Mary 2 out of Southampton Water and responded, towing Solitaire to Cowes, according to an onlooker who told the County Press that a member of the public ran home to get a VHF radio to call for help.  

Bembridge Coastguard Rescue Team gave safety advice when the boat safely arrived in Cowes. 

Isle of Wight County Press:

Image: Craig Dymock

Thanks to Craig Dymock for sharing these images of the rescue.